By Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of Center for Program Integrity
Open Payments is a congressionally mandated, national disclosure program that promotes transparency and accountability in health care. But what does “transparency” mean to you as a patient, and why is it important? The program gives you the opportunity to know if your doctors have a financial relationship with companies that make or supply medications, medical supplies or devices, and the biological products used in your care. The bottom line is that knowing about these relationships will let you be a more involved and informed health care consumer.
On September 30, 2014, we posted the first set of data about these financial relationships at cms.gov/openpayments. To make it easier to search the Open Payments data, we’ve released a beta search tool that allows you to search your doctor by name. As we work to make searching easier, we are asking for your feedback to improve website. Additional enhancements will be made available in coming weeks, including displays of summary data, data charts, graphs, as well as more detailed data. These innovative improvements will add value to both consumers and researchers using the Open Payments data.
With the addition of this new search tool, we are also providing more detailed information on the data released, including updating the data about the company that made the payment, giving researchers and consumers more granular information. This update was made in the “Applicable Manufacturer or Applicable GPO Making Payment Name” column and will provide the company that provided the payment.
Please visit cms.gov/openpayments to view the data and use the new search tool, and take the next step in becoming a more involved and informed health care consumer.